WHAT ARE GROUNDWATER BANKS?
Groundwater banking is a water management mechanism that helps farmers save excess water that can cause flooding during monsoon season, to allow evaporation or to be stored and used during the drought season (depending on the type of groundwater bank).
OPEN-SYSTEM GROUNDWATER BANKS
Open system groundwater banks work on the principle of storing water underground through digging a three big pond deep into the aquifer level in order for water to be absorbed into the groundwater level directly (a process that usually takes a while to occur).
When the rain falls, the groundwater bank would fill water into the aquifer level, allowing the water to spread out between the three ponds. At the same time, the groundwater would automatically overflow into the pond, increasing the water level, and allowing water to be acquired and used by farmers without the need to dig for water sources. An open system groundwater bank can help save several million baht for farmers every year.
CLOSED-SYSTEM GROUNDWATER BANKS
Unlike open system groundwater banks that are used to store water, closed system groundwater banks are mainly used to fix the problem of water drainage in farms. Closed system groundwater banks are created by digging holes around 3-5 meters deep (not passed the soft clay layer). Concrete or geotextile are then used to reinforce the sides of the hole, a PVC pipe is placed in the middle, and the hole is then filled up with rocks.
Such systems would help when excess rainfall during monsoon seasons cause problems of flooding and accumulated waste water, which does not only impact the farmer's crops but also their health. Even though the “stored” or absorbed water cannot be pumped up directly, a closed system groundwater bank can add moisture to the soil. This will allow more soil moisture during drought seasons, as well as higher water levels in ponds near the groundwater banks.